Public peek at new Vauxhall Astra

Images of Vauxhall's new Astra model have been released prior to its official unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The new Vauxhall Astra, historically one of the most popular British cars, will be powered by a range of downsized, fuel-efficient engines including a 137bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol unit.

The new model has been designed by the same team responsible for the award-winning Vauxhall Insignia and was set to be built at General Motor's Ellesmere Port factory, Merseyside.

However, reports that Italian group Fiat is interested in buying the European branch of General Motors, including Vauxhall, has put the future of the plant in doubt.

Mark Adams, vice president of GM Europe Design, said: "We're continuing with the same premium design cues as the Insignia, inside and out of the car.

"However, the main design themes, like the wing-shaped light signatures and the blade, needed an individual execution to avoid 'cloning' the model ranges. This is why, for instance, you see twin wings in the rear lights and a reversed blade on its flanks."

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